South Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has begun mass production of a mobile application processor using 14nm FinFET manufacturing process technology.
The move puts Samsung ahead of rival semiconductor manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (Hsinchu, Taiwan) and nominally at the same stage of development as Intel Corp.
Samsung was able to leapfrog in front of TSMC by essentially ignoring the 20nm planar CMOS node, a production node in which TSMC did expend effort in order to win Apple business.
Samsung did not explicitly declare what mobile application processor is being manufacturing initially. There have been reports that the offer of Globalfoundries Inc. as an alternative source for14nm FinFET foundry manufacturing helped Samsung win an 80 percent share of Apple's forthcoming application processor business (see Report: Samsung Wins Back Apple Processor Business). However, the company did state that it will adopt the 14nm FinFET process for its Exynos 7 Octa and then use it for other products in 2015.
"Samsung’s advanced 14nm FinFET process technology is undoubtedly the most advanced logic process technology in the industry,” said Gabsoo Han, executive vice president of sales & marketing, for Samsung's system LSI business, in a statement. "We expect the production of our 14nm mobile application processor to positively impact the growth of the mobile industry by enabling further performance improvements for cutting-edge smartphones."
Samsung said its 14nm FinFET manufacturing process enables up to 20 percent higher clock frequency or 35 percent lower power consumption while shrinking die area by 30 percent when compared to Samsung's 20nm planar CMOS manufacturing process.
The move to FinFET production by Samsung – the first company to do so after Intel – follows on from more than 10 years of researching the technology and patent filings.
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